I was commenting to someone after the game that the Orioles finally showed up to play baseball this weekend. After getting just smashed and practically routed in back-to-back games, the birds from Baltimore buckled down and got serious, led by their starting pitcher and carried by the bullpen and defense. Rather unfortunate for the Yankees as far as timing and everything.
But it wasn’t like the Yankee bats were exactly silent. They still got 8 hits off the pitchers this afternoon, but they also struck out 10 times and were kept away from home plate by some well-placed defensive upswings. The Yankees just weren’t scoring any runs.
The Yankees sent CC Sabathia to the mound today, and Sabathia had a pretty great day actually right up until his final inning. Through 6 innings, Sabathia threw just 80 pitches, gave up just 4 hits, 1 run, and a walk, and struck out 6 batters. That lone run was a lead-off solo shot in the 6th inning.
Down just 1-0 with those statistics, it made sense for Sabathia to come out for the 7th inning, but he got into a bit of a pickle. Adding 2 more strikeouts, Sabathia gave up 2 singles and a walk to load the bases. Now at 99 pitches, it was time for relief, Sabathia headed back to the dugout to some pretty warm applause.
Adam Warren came on in relief, but his first batter hit a nice 2-RBI single to boost the Orioles’ lead (all runs charged to Sabathia, too). But Warren got out of the inning with a ground out.
Ben Heller had a bit of a rocky outing today in the 8th inning. Heller gave up a lead-off single and a big 2-run homer (the batter’s 40th, actually the current MLB homer run leader) to further pad Baltimore’s lead. 2 outs and 2 runners on base with a double and a walk, Heller was replaced by Blake Parker. Parker sailed his way through his 4 outs, keeping the O’s from adding to their lead and off the bases.
Like I said before, the Yankees just weren’t scoring any runs. And without any runs, you aren’t exactly going to win the game. And the hopes for a sweep for this weekend series quickly deflated.
Final score: 5-0 Orioles, Yankees take series 2-1.
Okay, so the Yankees are on their way to Kansas City to face last year’s World Series Champions for a mid-week series before heading to Baltimore to face the Orioles again. All this before heading home for big 10-game home stand, as seems to be the usual schedule for early September in recent years.
And before you start counting the Yankees out, they are just 3.5 games back from the Wild Card game. Currently, Boston and Baltimore (separated by 1.5 games) hold the Wild Card spot, and then it’s a close race for the next few teams — Detroit, Houston, Seattle, Kansas City, and New York (all within 1.5 games of each other). In other words, it’s really too close to make any predictions or solid statements about the postseason.
Now, this should give Yankee Universe hope. And when you have hope, you don’t go away quietly. No, you fight until the very last second, believing that even when all the odds are against you, you still got a chance. And that’s how we should live life in general — fight for the good things with hope, faith, and positivity all the way to the end. Because you just never know what can happen between now and then. As long as there’s a chance, there should be hope.